37 Best Things We Saw at CMA Music Fest 2014

From Miranda Lambert's sass to Richie Sambora's surprise, what entertained us most at country's biggest festival
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Chris Stapleton, Drake White
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Best Double Header: Chris Stapleton and Drake White

Country might be currently preoccupied with dabbling in hip-hop and rap, but it was the back-to-back afternoon sets of Chris Stapleton and Drake White on Thursday that shows what happens when you feed a little bit of the Delta blues through sturdy Nashville roots. Stapleton, a renowned songwriter who picked up a plaque earlier in the day at a Number One party for his Luke Bryan hit "Drink a Beer," has a voice that doesn't just hit the notes — it glides into them, with equal parts jazzy quiver and guttural twang that's Ray LaMontagne meets Jamey Johnson. And White, an electric performer with a gospel howl, had the audience riled up over his 2013 single "The Simple Life" and even a swampy take on the 4 Non Blondes hit "What's Up." "I'm a fan of music with soul, that's what I'm a fan of," he proclaimed. So are we.

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